But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
In celebrating Passover this week, I can not help but reflect on the wondrous act of chivalry that our Messiah Yeshua did for me. He gave up His seat for me so that I may live. I live to bring Him praise, glory and honor for what He has done in my life and all of Creation.
Earlier last week, we listened to the Rebuilding Chivalry Audio Set while driving. These thoughts really made me pause and think. We never really think of chivalry anymore...well not as a society anyway. I am disheartened when men do not stop to hold the door open for me or when my children were young and men could see I was struggling with a load of groceries and two toddlers and no one would stop to help even though they could see my distress. My family is different. Men were supposed to be men and women were supposed to be women. Men held open doors and the women were thankful and appreciative for this act. That is just the way it was and still is within our family.
But chivalry goes far deeper than opening a door:
Chivalry (n.): the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms.
Notice, chivalry was a requirement of knighthood. Of course an argument could be made that not every knight lived up to this code, but I will not make a case against the whole by the actions of a few. Beyond being able to fight and bear arms well, knights had an unspoken moral code of conduct. One which we would do very well to teach our sons today. The Song of Roland does sum up the code quite well:
- To fear God and maintain His Church
- To serve the liege lord in Valour and Faith
- To protect the weak and defenceless
- To give succor to widows and orphans
- To refrain from the wanton giving of offence
- To live by honour and for glory
- To despise pecuniary reward
- To fight for the welfare of all
- To obey those placed in authority
- To guard the honor of fellow knights
- To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit
- To keep faith
- At all times speak the truth
- To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun
- To respect the honour of women
- Never to refuse a challenge from an equal
- Never to turn the back upon a foe
Now, in my mind this is just common sense. Why wouldn't we raise our sons to be like this? Teaching them to walk tall and, despite the culture, to embrace the manhood they were born into. Yet, you don't really even see real manhood much in the church. Perhaps because the church is uncomfortable being counter cultural? I am not sure. There are several possibilities, but this post is not about those possibilities.
Passing by the middle ages, let me now bring you a bit closer to our time with the Birkenhead Drill of 1845. This was back when Multi-Generational Manhood was still taught, respected and revered. The Birkenhead Drill was where we first heard the phrase, "Women and Children First!" Men willingly gave up their seats for their beloved wives and children and gallantly sank with the ship into shark infested waters where they were eaten alive in front of the very women and children they allowed to live through this act of chivalry.
Stepping ahead even further we now go to the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. One of the most memorable instances was multi-millionaire John Jacob Astor IV who did not put up a fuss when he was not allowed to accompany his pregnant wife into a life boat. Instead, he calmly said good-bye and then helped others to safety. How many men could do this now? How many mothers have taught their sons exactly what being a man means and then have encouraged the fathers to lead their sons by example? Very few. John Jacob Astor had everything to live for...especially a new baby, but chivalry required that he give up his seat and he did though it meant his death.
Now we are going back in time about 2,000 years ago or so. I want you to see an act of chivalry that happened on Calvary. HaShem, Creator and King of the Universe made the choice to give up His seat in Heaven to come here to earth. No matter how He lived here it was a significant loss from what Heaven is like. Yet, He gave that up for me and for you. I will express more about His final act of chivalry a bit later.
For the moment, I want you to imagine yourself on a ship. Any great ship will do. You are there with your son. The ship is going down. There is one last seat beside you and you desperately want your son there next to you. But, out of the corner of his eye, he spies one more woman that has not been seated in a life boat. He chooses to stay with the men and honor this woman with his seat. As she approaches you see her face and you recognize her as a woman who embraced feminism and you watch her walk by your son and spit on him. She kicks him, beats him and tries to break him. There is nothing you can do as the crowd holds you back while encouraging her and mocking your son as they have been conditioned to do so by the social climate. Your son looks at you and then looks at her and with a final attempt gestures her to that last seat, next to you.
Then woman climbs into the life boat and it is lowered. The faces that were intent on watching this woman nearly kill your son after such an honorable gesture turns to look at you. Your world has stopped. No one cares, no one reaches out, they only see that you were the woman who raised this boy that held beliefs so contrary to their own. What do you do?
There was a mother who watched this happen to her son. The boat started sinking the day Adam and Eve chose sin over Righteousness. God's plan of rescue involved a chivalrous act where God Himself would take our place. He choose one woman to bring the light of the world into the earth. This woman raised him, loved him, taught him and did everything that we as mothers do with our own children. She raised Him well, His commands, His life, and His very essence carried the moral code of conduct later embraced by the knighthood.
After a relatively normal life, finally the awful day came. She knew it would come. But nothing could quite prepare her for what she was about to witness. The cheeks that she had kissed were slapped and His beard pulled out. The back that she had rubbed as she softly lulled Him to sleep as a child was stripped and ripped open by barbaric Roman whips. This Man who was unrecognizable after the brutality was sentenced to death by a hate filled crowd, her child who she had lovingly fed and clothed, who had preached a message of truth and love.
As she watched Him bear that heavy cross through the streets of Jerusalem, falling due to the weight, she remembered running to Him as He had fallen as a child. Still the crowds screamed for His death, "Crucify! Crucify! Crucify!" She had to listen to their taunts, their hate filled chanting, their cry for blood.
On the top of the hill, when His cross reached its destination, she had to watch them throw his bloodied and bruised body onto that cross. She heard the nails pound into His hands and feet one by one...slowly yet with precision. She had to watch as His body was hoisted up for all to see. She was forced to hear the mocking and the profanity. She witnessed His robe thrown callously around as the prize of a game of chance, perhaps she made that robe for him.
As the grief and the tears became almost too much to bear, it finally came to the end. This Man, the Son of God who was also her son was dying in front of her eyes. Instead of hatred or vengeance, He pleaded, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Her son was forgiving the very people who had inflicted so much pain. There would be no vengeance. She was left with no alternative, if He could forgive while enduring so much, she must too. The rest of the day would be a blur for her as this revelation would sink in, forgiveness.
We are back in your lifeboat, it is finally lowered and touches the water. The people on board are still mocking your son. You are in a lifeboat with people who do not believe in giving of themselves for the hope or betterment of someone else. What do you do? Will you forgive? Can we forgive the last century of women and society that has beaten and bloodied our sons, emasculating them and trying to redefine their manliness?
I struggle with this daily. I have been watching what has been happening in our culture for a long time. I became very aware of this when my sons were born. I felt helpless in a sea of destructive feminism. How could I protect my sons from the hatred and malice of so many women? I struggle with forgiveness of women who hold to the teachings of Margaret Sanger, I know how she would have viewed my children. Yet, Yeshua laid down His life for her and her followers in an act of chivalry. I struggle with forgiveness of women who like to promote themselves as a distraction to my sons from their calling in life. Yet, Yeshua laid down His life for them in an act of chivalry. I struggle with forgiveness of women who embrace the Amazon way of enslaving or killing off all men, including my sons. Yet, Yeshua laid down His life for them in an act of chivalry.
I know many of these women will continue to spit on the Messiah (figuratively, not physically). Many do not believe in HaShem and those that do try and rewrite His Word to fit what they want in life. Yet, if Yeshua could forgive them, could love them and respect them enough to forgive them of what He knew they would do...how can I do any less? Our Messiah gave up His seat in the life boat for every woman that has held a selfish point of view and culturally affected my sons. I cannot dishonor Him with malice in my own heart.
I do not know what the future holds for my children, my sons, and I do know what our culture will be like. I am holding out hope that they each find a nice Torah Observant girl for a wife and that each will have a wonderful family. But, G-d is Sovereign and we cannot plan for our children what G-d has not chosen for them. So now is my time to learn to calmly forgive women who hate men, before my sons really are grown men and potentially face those challenges alone. Thank you HaShem, for showing us the powerful message of chivalry and forgiveness during this Passover season.